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Dynamic drawing to terrain

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hi i have a game where my charachter has an animation of hitting the ground with his fists. Its sort of his attack. Now I want the ground to develop fissures when he hits the ground. It should basically tell the player that the attack was really powerful and caused the fissures to appear. How can I go about doing this? Will a render to texture method work here? And how do i go about implementing it? Any tips ,theories will be appreciated.

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Well, of course modifying the texture could do the trick. You either have a mega texture (-> Google) that you can locally modify with fissures or you need to apply decals. But this effect might lack the immersion for the player because it is just a flat graphical eye candy.

Obviously modifying the geometry to create real cracks in the terrain would be much more convicing. But this involves at least re-uploading a big chunck of your terrain to the graphics card which could be somewhat slow. But this really depends on how you draw your terrain at the moment and if it is easily modifiable.

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You can maybe stencil out the 'fissured' or 'hit' parts of the terrain when you draw it and then fill in the fissured areas with different, more detailed geometry.

I'm planning on doing something similar for my terrain but I haven't implemented it yet. You might need to do a depth pass if you've got hilly terrain.

You also might find issues if you hit a peice of ground which overlaps a previous hit.

Hope that helps

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